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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I work at a dental office in Maple Grove, Mn. I have 2 situations

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I work at a dental office in Maple Grove, Mn. I have 2 situations where I need clarification.
1) We were verbally informed at a staff meeting that at the end of the year ,hours worked would be reviewed and if an employee did not work the required hours ,that person would lose full time benefits. This particular office has a history of not following the law regarding employees. For example; mandated staff meeting without pay; required attendance to continuing education meetings without pay; continually recurring mistakes on payroll ,etc. The office has closed on regular working days and also has blocked off regular schedules forcing employees to come in late or leave early. My question is : Does the full time determination go on the hours an employee was hired for or can they force you to work less hours so they can change your status?
2) This off ice also practices unequal treatment of employees in assigning any extra opportunities to make up hours. We are divided into 3 dental teams with 3 individual dentists. Two of those teams are always offered the opportunity to work extra days -the third team is rarely offered this and often is denied. Is this discrimination? Thank You XXXXX
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I look forward to assisting you today. I bring nearly 20 years of experience in various legal disciplines.

1. The hours worked, in terms of deciding whether a person is full or part time, is what matters. What they were hired to do is not legally relevant. So, if the employee is not working the number of hours necessary to meet the requirement for full time for the employer, their benefits can change. This is even true if the employer is causing the person to have fewer hours. It would only be illegal to do so if the employee has an employment contract specifically stating that the terms of their employment can not be altered without their consent AND that they are guaranteed a specific number of hours.

2. I don't know if this is discrimination. On the facts you've given, it's not conclusive. There is no law stating that an employer must treat everyone equally. So, just on the facts you've given so far, there is no discrimination that you've pointed out. Now, if you can make the state that the people that are getting less opportunities are being treated that way based on their race, religion, gender, age (over 40) disability or in retaliation for their using FMLA or worker's compensation, THEN you'd have raised an issue that clearly demonstrates disparate treatment based on an illegal factor. The point is that differing treatment, by itself, is not illegal. It has to be connected to an illegal factor.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. There has never been a written contract in the dental field that I have ever heard of- you are simply hired as full or part time and are given a specific hourly schedule that does not vary unless a dentist goes on vacation or the office closes for a non specific reason. There is only the verbal assertion of your hours and schedule. As far as the discrimination, unfortunately, our office manager operates on a "if I like you- if I don't like you" approach to managing. Formal complaints have been filed in the past due to her behavior -so perhaps that is the way to go as far as constant payroll errors -for everyone- and the targeting of certain employees for unequal treatment. Thank You

Ok. If you've made formal complaints about pay issues, that could be considered "wage and hour" issues, and the favorable treatment is going to those that didn't complaint (or rather, the unfavorable treatment is going towards those that did) you could argue that this is retaliation based on those complaints.

That would be a Department of Labor complaint in your state, and it's fairly speculative but not entirely worthless. It would help make the employer more cognizant that government agencies can come in and look through their books any time and that may reduce the differing treatment.
Allen M., Esq. and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No problem. Take care.

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